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16.8.06

Lonelygirl15’s selling something 

I haven’t seen people pore over details like this since, well, Rathergate. has been the subject of debates over whether she is a phoney, and if she is, then it’s the loss of innocence for YouTube, probably like when the first spam arrived and ruined everyone’s email experience.
   Lonelygirl15 has been posting her teenage adventures on , but those analysing the videos, buoyed by a blog post from The New York Times, think they’re a little too polished, notably the lighting.
   A netizen, Liam, has found that the Lonelygirl15.com domain was registered a full month before the first YouTube video, and that has convinced Costa Tsiokos (referred by Adfreak) that Lonelygirl15 is a —but we just don’t know what she’s selling yet. He’s not alone.
   So, for those of us expecting a to remain of the people, for the people, and by the people, think again: the corporations look like they are in. They have found a name that looks amateurish, so “home-made” is in and . And the techniques are designed to sucker the of us, surfing YouTube with our broadband lines, in. The colleagial atmosphere that once prevailed email, then the , then YouTube, may disappear.
   But unlike , there is a difference. We can opt not to watch these videos. In which case, things might not be ruined as much as I think. We may be savvy enough to spot the phoneys. The next few years after Lonelygirl15’s product announcement will be interesting to watch. Whether it harms the she represents, for pulling the wool over people’s eyes and sparking off the cynicism of , will be where my interest will lie.

Del.icio.us tags: Lonelygirl15 viral video marketing Generation Y YouTube brand branding
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Comments:
This story intrigues me.

I learned about LonelyGirl15 last week in an email from trendcentral.com...a trend forecasting company that focuses on youth culture.

I know trendcentral.com is owned by the Intelligence group and the Intelligence has large clients including ABC & HBO
www.youthintelligence.com (see client list)

The Intelligence Group's Trend Central email went as follows:

YouTube hit LonelyGirl15 The latest YouTube phenomenon has nothing to do with a bunch of pimply high-school kids lip syncing pop songs or a balding middle-aged man showing off his lack of rhythm. On the contrary, she’s a 16-year-old named Bree whose super religious parents have subjected her to a life of strict rules and home schooling. With over-protective parents monitoring her every move and keeping a tight reign on her interactions with the outside world, Bree spends most of her time reading lots and lots and lots of books and maintaining her videoblog, lonelygirl15 www.youtube.com/profile?user=lonelygirl15 . With the help of her confidant Daniel’s stellar editing skills, Bree’s girlie antics—which include conversations with herself, rants about her parents, and interactions with Daniel, a pink boa and a purple monkey puppet—have driven crazy amounts of traffic to both her YouTube Channel and MySpace Profile. The allegiance of her fan base is really quite impressive—they give her advice, share personal stories, feel her pain, proclaim their love and, most importantly, defend her from detractors who claim she is a hoax. And then there are the imitators – another fan base of sorts who like to post their imitations and interpretations of Bree’s original videoblogs.... there are even people who post imitations of the imitator’s material. Naysayers and pranksters aside, Bree has formed a tight bond with many of her online friends and fans, writing back to them earnestly and even incorporating their thoughts and comments into later video messages back to them. No matter what the real story is with lonelygirl15, the drama that is her life unfolds on-line with as much intrigue as any teenage-themed scripted television show on the air. Like one fan put it “It’s like this generation’s Dawson’s Creek.”

Well written...but is there a motive?

Either way, I've created some shirts to add fuel to the fire! They can be found over at CafePress.com (search term: LonelyGirl15)

And I'll be linking to your blog post today, by the way...you have some interesting insights on this!

What do you make of that email? I'm not sure which way to go now. How did Trend Central pick up on this...are they a part of it since they have connections with some large corporations? Maybe she really is real?

I know I'll be following her story now & hopefully I can help piece together the puzzle!

Heidi  
Thank you for your kind link, Heidi. TrendCentral is pretty good at picking up on these things and I believe, since Lonelygirl15 is a few months old now as a phenomenon, it found her legitimately. But I still believe Lonelygirl15 to be part of a grander marketing scheme!  
hey there,
trendcentral here.

just wanted to clarify that we have absolutely no affiliation with lonelygirl15, and that we are just as interested as all of you in learning about her, or perhaps the story behind her character.  
Thank you for clarifying that—I knew that you guys are independent as I have been on your mailing list for some time. I am glad to get the “official word”, so to speak.  
This whole thing is absolutely insane.
No one knows if she is real or not, and no one knows how to prove any theory.
The whole thing is massively interesting, however.

Despite the fact that everyone knows what she looks like, and knows her name, the convenient crazy parenting resulting in her being a forced recluse, coupled with the power of the Internet, still makes her anonymous.
Nobody knows her, she could be anybody.
Anonymity on the Internet has led to a lot of scams, and the Internet is rarely trusted.

Even websites that report "facts" have been hit with comments about them reporting the wrong facts. Although unintentional, it damages trust.

The comments about the decent lighting and editing isn't really a valid point.
If you look around YouTube or any amateur site, you will find that pseudo-professional editing and equipment is nothing unusual. The technology is getting better and the software is getting easier to use. This was the dream of a certain major software company after all, it's just testament to their forward-thinking.

Can you believe anything you see these days?  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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